Salutations! This month the Full Moon will appear in full on 12/7 at 11:08 EST. This Moon is often called the Cold Moon, Frost Moon, Long Night's Moon. We get it. It's Winter, right? The Solstice will be on the 21st. I don't have to tell you that this is the biggest holiday mashup of the year and, unless I miss my guess, most of us are already celebrating in some form. Please enjoy this Full Moon offering from returning writer Lindsey Higo. I also offer you my warmest blessings to see you through the season.
Cheers fellow moonbaskers and stargazers,
Another solstice is almost upon us. My last offering was at Summer Solstice so it truly feels like I have come full circle to offer this musing just days ahead of the Winter Solstice.
This month’s moon, the Cold Moon, is the last full moon of the modern calendar year. The moon heralding winter. This moon is piercing in its clarity in the velvety night sky and thin air, when frost glitters on bare branches and snow blankets the ground. Its light, like an icicle, is clear to silver white, and invokes that slight freezing burning sensation when you hold ice in your bare hand for too long. It’s beautiful but even bundled head to toe it’s hard to gaze upon it for long. These few moments in the breath stealing night are worth it, not only for this moon but for the restoring wave of warmth as you leave it to shine and return indoors.
Nature has gone quiet but inside my home, the short days are buzzing with energy as I clean and decorate to welcome friends and family for Yule and holiday celebrations. In stark contrast to summer, where keeping my guests cool, relaxed, and refreshed is my priority; I turn inward to my home and my hearth spaces in the wintertime to craft a place of comfort, warmth, and refuge for when loved ones brave the moonlit roads in icy weather for a visit.
My hearth and kitchen provide not only practical warmth but are a source of nourishment essential to life. The wood burning fireplace is a well-loved centerpiece. It anchors the room and plays its part in keeping the household harmonious. It’s a place to thaw tired bones and the meeting point for important events and discussions. While we do not cook our meals over its flames, I tend it lovingly with wood, kindling and pinecones gathered and dried in the warmer seasons. I also carry my hearth into the kitchen by lighting a candle from its blaze. Resting the candle on the stove allows the fire’s bright energy to charge my daily meals and household tasks. I take extra care in preparing both spaces during the winter. I place intentions for health and nourishment when I clean, or bake, light candles and build and bank the fire on particularly cold days and nights. In celebration of Yule, I prepare special meals and hot drinks for my guests to carry heat and love through my home and keep the cold dark at bay.
I invite you to embrace the warmth in your space, whether through a large fireplace or a small apartment kitchenette; give it a little extra attention and welcome your loved ones in for a simmering cocktail and a cozy catch up as you gaze at the moon through the window safe in the comfort of a heavy blanket.
Mulled Cider for Yule & Solstice
1.5 liters of dry cider (I recommend Aspall from the UK or your local cidery)
400ml fresh pressed apple juice
100ml Calvados apple brandy
75g brown sugar
4-6 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
3-5 whole star anise
One orange sliced into wheels (hold aside half of the slices for garnish)
In your favorite simmering pot combine cider, apple juice and sugar and gently bring to a simmer to melt the sugar and warm the liquids. I use my favorite copper pot for its love and energy transference properties. When steam gently starts to rise, add all of the spices infusing them with intentions for protection from the elements and healing warmth. Gently drop in the full orange wheels along with your wishes of friendship and love for your guests about to arrive. Let the pot return to a simmer, then reduce to low heat. Add brandy with a light stir and keep on low for 20-30 min to keep warm and mull the flavors. Your home will fill with a spicy tart scent unmistakable with winter. Time this last warming cycle to finish just after your guests arrive and have shed their boots, coats, and hats. Encourage them to find a cozy seat or perch in or near the kitchen and ladle the cider into your favorite mugs, garnish with an orange slice. Serve with not only to warm your guests’ hands and bodies, but to encourage free flowing conversation to warm your souls.
Lindsey Higo is a spirited hostess living in Denver, Colorado, who spends time puttering around her kitchen and patio garden, reading on a dark and stormy night (or any night for that matter) and entertaining. Her cocktail crafting skills have been honed through years of trial and error and “here take a sip of this” is a key step in her creative process. When inspiration strikes you can find recipes and her favorite haunts on her Instagram @cocktail_curious. She is also an active member of the Japanese Tea community in Colorado where she practices the spirit of boundless guest hospitality and mindfulness in the principle of “ichi-go, ichi-e”/“one chance, meeting” taking it beyond the contemplative Tea space and into her home and community.
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